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parts-of-a-driveway

3 Most Efficient Parking Lot Layouts

Choosing the right parking lot design presents several key challenges to owners. What layout is the most efficient? Where should the varying parts of a driveway and parking lots like a security gate or parking spaces go? Consider the lot dimensions and parking space size when designing. What layouts are the best for your space?

Three Common Parking Lot Layouts

When considering the type of layout you need, there are many factors and challenges. For example, there are parts of the driveway like handicapped accessible parking, sidewalks, ramps, and security that must be considered. Do you have landscaping or parking barriers? Do you need to accommodate public transportation?

In general, you will choose from three types of parking:

  1. Perpendicular 90 Degree Parking with standard side-by-side parking
  2. 60 Degree Parking where cars park at an angle to each other
  3. 45 Degree Parking where cars park tightly angles to each other

Perpendicular Parking Lot Design

Traffic flow must be considered when planning the parking style. Perpendicular parking lots may be more maneuverable in larger lots. They allow for more fluid traffic flow. Cars have two-way traffic. However, perpendicular parking requires more space and might not be good for smaller lots.

Angled Parking

Whether you choose 60 Degree or 45 Degree parking for your parking lot, you will notice a few key benefits to this layout:

  • Requires less space
  • Less paving material needed
  • More room for lighting
  • Additional space for landscaping
  • More maneuverability for smaller lots
  • Traffic flows freely
  • Staggered parking spaces allow for more safety
  • Less chance of cars hitting each other

When considering the best parking lot design for your business, be sure to consider the importance of convenience, safety, and traffic flow. Angled parking offers benefits for smaller lots. If you have a much larger space, you have more parking options. If your customers are happy with the parking situation, they will return to your business again and again.

Contact the parking lot experts at Epic Paving. For twenty years we have built quality parking lots for the Greater Toronto Area. Call us today.

 

 

concrete vs asphalt

Pros & Cons: Concrete vs Asphalt Driveways

Two of the most common options for driveways are asphalt and concrete. Both materials have pros and cons, similarities and differences. Deciding which to use needs careful consideration, and factors such as appearance, maintenance, budget, climate, and restrictions need to be taken into account.

Maintenance

Asphalt needs more maintenance, but any repairs are generally inexpensive. Concrete doesn’t need as much maintenance, but any repairs tend to be complicated and more expensive. It’s also worth noting that oil leaks are almost unnoticeable, but gasoline leaks will damage the surface. Any stains will be noticeable on concrete. Asphalt can last for up to 20 years before needing to be replaced, but concrete can last for up to 30 years.

Climate

Asphalt tends to crack as temperatures fluctuate, and the tar can melt, soften and deform. It is better suited to cold climates. Concrete, however, can crack in cold weathers, and if you use an incompatible de-icer, it can damage the concrete. Cracks and damage to concrete can be expensive, and difficult to repair, whereas cracks in asphalt are easy, and can be repaired as part of routine maintenance.

Appearance

In terms of appearance, it’s down to personal preference. Concrete tends to be light colored, but it can be tinted, designed, patterned, or finished to give it a more alternative appearance. It takes a few days, or more than a week for concrete to cure completely. Asphalt is darker, but it can be colored slightly if you want something a bit different. Asphalt is cured in a few hours.

Sealing

Asphalt needs to be sealed between 6 – 12 months after installation, and then resealed every 3-5 years. Concrete doesn’t need to be sealed, but doing so can help to extend its lifespan. Asphalt can be resurfaced easily, but concrete can not.

You need to think about your needs and preferences, but you should also be aware of the similarities between asphalt and concrete. Both need a gravel base, and both need time to cure before driving on them. The main difference is in the manufacturing stage. Asphalt is made from stone, sand and tar, while concrete is made from stone, sand and cement. Either surface will last for many years if they have been properly cared for.

Epic Paving’s Annual Barbecue

From all of us here at Epic Paving, thank you so much for coming to our annual barbecue!  It was a tremendous event, and we’re glad that so many of our major clients and partners could make it.  It’s a great way to network and meet people outside of the work environment, and we’re glad everyone had a great time.  We look forward to seeing you again next year!

How to Plan for Yearly Maintenance

How to Plan for Yearly Maintenance

Yearly preventative maintenance is key to keeping your asphalt or concrete surface in good condition.  It’s best to fix problems before they can become major issues, as it will not only save you time and money in the long run, but also keep your surfaces working in prime condition year-round.

Maintenance like crack and pothole filling is relatively cheap, and have a great return on investment, with both immediate and long-term benefits.  Keeping room in your budget for yearly small repairs is one of the best investments you can make.

The best time to do yearly maintenance is the fall, just before icy weather hits, but as long as you’re consistent, you can do yearly maintenance at any time.  Here are several things you should keep an eye on:

Surface Inspections

Are there any cracks or potholes that need to be filled?  These surface-level damages allow water to penetrate your pavement, which can expand cracks and other problems when it freezes and thaws.  That can cause severe damage, which is easily preventable if you deal with cracks and potholes early.

Water Pooling

Is water pooling anywhere on your surface?  Standing water is another avenue for water penetration; you should have well-managed water run-off in order to avoid problems from developing.  Good water run-off also helps prevent snow or ice accumulation in the winter.

Aesthetics

Over time, your asphalt or concrete might start looking worn or faded.  Sealcoating is a great way to make your asphalt look like new again, increasing your curb appeal and improving the value of your home or business.

Proper maintenance on your asphalt or concrete helps extend the life of your surfaces.  Don’t get caught needing to spend the money on a total replacement; common-sense maintenance will save you both time and money!  Call Epic Paving for all your asphalt and concrete maintenance needs.

The Benefits of Interlocking Paving

Tired of high maintenance yards and green spaces that seem to consume as much time and energy as they do water? Interlocking paving in Toronto is a growing trend in both residential and commercial spaces, offering a wide selection of benefits that go well beyond appearance.

A Customizable Look

With a variety of paving styles to choose from, you can customize the look of interlocking pavers to match the style of any property. The choices for pavers range from different sizes and shapes to specialized colors and finishes. Interlocking paving is a great option for integrating into existing gardens, or for designing new landscapes.

 Low Maintenance

Unlike lawns that require regular upkeep, interlocking pavers are very low maintenance and simple to repair. One of the best features interlocking pavers offer, is the ability to lift a single paver without disrupting the full design, making it easy and affordable to repair cracked or stained pavers by only replacing the damaged piece.

Pavers also cut down your cleaning time significantly. They require nothing more than a regular sweeping and the odd rinse.

Affordable, Easy to Install and Long-lasting

Interlocking paving is more affordable than you might think, and once installed, your new design can be used immediately. Although pavers can be installed by homeowners, the benefits of hiring a professional service like ours guarantees fast service from install to cleanup, and exceptional quality materials that last for decades.

  Extreme Weather Durability

Common concerns about interlocking paving in Toronto revolve around the ability for pavers to withstand the city’s extreme winter weather conditions. Rest assured, interlocking pavers are exceptionally durable. The joints between each pavers combined with their small to medium size, increases their resistance to cracks from freeze-thaw cycles.

 Ideal for Residential and Commercial Spaces

Whether you are considering interlocking paving for a driveway, sidewalk, backyard or parking lot, pavers can be used in a wide variety of settings for both residential and commercial spaces. With the input of an expert, interlocking pavers can create an elegant, stylish design in any setting, for projects of almost any size. Consider using interlocking paving for the following:

  • Driveways
  • Walkways and sidewalks
  • Patios
  • Parking lots
  • Promenades
  • Pool decks

Snow Removal

All of the common snow removal practices you use on your concrete or asphalt driveways and walkways can be used on interlocking pavers. Using salt or calcium-chloride to de-ice your pavers won’t cause damage, and neither will shoveling them. You can also choose to install snow-melting systems beneath the pavers that will eliminate the need to shovel or de-ice them. Regardless of what options you choose for snow removal, interlocking pavers are more resilient to cracking that often occurs during extreme freezing and thawing winter cycles.

If you have any questions about pavers, at Epic Paving, we are experts in interlocking paving for Toronto residential and commercial spaces. Contact us to set up a free consultation with one of our installation professionals today.

How to Repair Cracks in Your Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt is a great choice for a durable driveway, but it isn’t invincible. Over time, asphalt paving in Toronto tends to see wear and tear that leads to cracks and potholes, especially as a result of the city’s extreme seasonal weather. If you have an asphalt driveway with small cracks, you can try filling them yourself, but if the cracks are sizeable you will want to hire a professional for long lasting results.

Causes for Cracks

Cracks and crevices can form as a result of poor initial installation or wear, which is why having your asphalt paving installed by professionals you can trust is a worthwhile investment. Once cracks appear, water will seep into them and freeze during cold months. The freeze-thaw cycle is detrimental for asphalt paving that has water in the underlying base because it weakens the asphalt and leads to cracks.

Sealing Small Cracks

If you are dealing with cracks smaller than an inch in width, you can try patching them yourself. Choose from tubed or pourable asphalt fillers and follow these easy steps to seal small cracks.

1. Clean Cracks

Be sure to remove all dirt and debris from the cracks. No special tools are required for this, you can simply use any tool in your toolbox that will do the job. Be sure the cracks are cleaned out completely – hose them down if necessary to remove all obstructions.

2. Prepare the Filler

If you purchase a pourable asphalt filler you will need to make sure it is properly mixed before using it. Follow the instructions on the product package for best results. Tubed fillers come pre-mixed, so all you need to do is cut a hole in the tip smaller than the cracks being filled.

3. Fill the Cracks

If you are using a tubed filling agent it is important to get the nozzle deep into the crack to fill it properly. Pourable fillers are relatively easy to get into crevices with a trowel. Be sure to fill the cracks completely and all the way to the edges of the asphalt driveway.

4. Smooth and Dry

Once you have filled the cracks, be sure to smooth out any excess filler with a trowel. If the sealant soaks into the cracks, let it dry for 24 hours then fill it again until the filling agent is flush with the asphalt paving around it.

When it comes to asphalt paving repair, it can take nearly six months to cure completely; however, your asphalt paving will be ready to use within 24-48 hours after repair. The more time you let the filler set, the better the results, so try to avoid driving or walking on it until the product is completely dry.

For larger asphalt paving cracks, it is best to consult a professional. Our team of experts have been leaders in installation and repair of asphalt paving in Toronto for over 20 years. Contact us today for a consultation!

5 Ways to Prevent Concrete Cracks

When it comes to concrete paving for a driveway or walkway, one of the most prevalent issues homeowners experience is figuring out how to prevent concrete cracks. There are certain cracks that you will struggle to avoid, such as cracks due to weathering and surfacing tree roots; but what you can avoid is cracking due to poor installation. According to the American Concrete Institute, regardless of the quality of installation, certain types of cracking are inevitable and caused by a number of unforeseen and preventable components. Having your driveway and sidewalk professionally installed will help to eliminate the preventable causes behind concrete cracking by effectively implementing the steps in the following five areas.

1. Preparation

Preparing concrete correctly is vital when it comes to concrete paving. Reducing water content is key because less water in the mix means stronger more durable concrete, ultimately leading to fewer cracks.

In places with extreme climates, like Toronto, paying attention to the water content in concrete is vital because expansion and shrinkage are constant issues caused by temperature fluctuations based on the quantity of moisture in the concrete.

The quality of concrete mix is another important aspect of concrete preparation. Choose quality aggregates that are hard and dense for increased strength and avoid diminishing their quality with additives that may cause additional shrinking, such as accelerators.

2. Soil Compaction

Like anything, a solid foundation is the basis of a strong structure and laying concrete is no different. If you have loose soil beneath your concrete, eventually it will settle and lead to cracks. Compacting the soil correctly beneath the concrete is a vital step in preventing future settlement.

3. Placement

Proper concrete placement isn’t as simple as it sounds. Concrete needs to be vibrated after it is placed on the soil foundation so that any air trapped in the mixture can be released. If this step isn’t done effectively, air can remain in the concrete, which weakens it and leads to cracks over time.

4. Finishing

Finishing is where you will see the quality of professional work truly shine through. Our professionals utilize techniques that avoid overworking the concrete so that the integrity and strength of the mixture is kept intact and settling is avoided.

5. Curing

Time is vital when it comes to curing concrete paving. Allowing the concrete to dry slowly reduces the likelihood of the concrete drying out. When the process is unnecessarily sped up, you risk causing excessive water loss, which in turn weakens the strength of the concrete. The entire curing period can take up to an entire month, so ensuring the newly installed concrete structure is not used during this time is vital to maintaining its strength.

When our professionals install concrete whether for driveways, parking lots, walkways and even walls, we guarantee a level of craftsmanship that ensures design and installation based errors are avoided. Contact us to find out how affordable professional concrete paving can be!

DIY Tips for Sealing Your Concrete Driveway

When it comes to sealing your concrete driveway it helps to know the basics of how it’s done and why it’s done. When in doubt consult a professional, especially if you live in environments with extreme temperature fluctuations that create cracks in concrete paving. Before we dive into some tips on sealing a driveway, lets look at if and why a sealant is a good idea.

Crack Prevention

Sealcoating your concrete driveway provides an overall aesthetic that is more appealing and also helps to reduce cracks caused by weather. When you live in a city that has a lot of snow or rain, an unsealed driveway runs the risk of having excess moisture pool beneath the concrete that increases the strain on your driveway as it freezes and thaws. Sealants help to prevent this absorption.

Appearance

Like anything, over time concrete can age with use and sun exposure. Sealants create a protective barrier that helps to reduce fading of your driveway’s color, while also preventing stains from setting. There are a number of agents that can cause discoloration on concrete paving including car oils, chemicals, salt and even fertilizers. If you use substances like acidic chemicals and petroleum distillates, you will want to have a high-performance sealant applied professionally because acrylic-resin sealers often available for self-application are not resistant enough.

Sealing Your Driveway

When making the decision to seal your driveway you have the option to apply sealant yourself or to hire a professional who works with concrete paving to do it for you. Why hire an expert? Like anything, the efficacy of the sealant is based on how well it is applied and because of the cost involved, it can be a pricey project if it isn’t done properly the first time.

If you are planning to apply sealant yourself you can use products that come ready-made with sealant and the tools used for application. The main difference between the DIY sealants and the sealants professionals apply to your driveway is the quality. Contractors are able to use higher-performance sealants that require specialized tools and application techniques, which is something to keep in mind when deciding on the quality of sealant you want for your driveway.

When to Seal

If you live in an environment that experiences climate cycles of freezing and thawing, your driveway should be sealed. If you live in a more temperate climate that doesn’t experience temperature extremes, you may still want to consider sealing your driveway for protection from fading and staining.

The best time for sealant to be applied is shortly after the concrete paving has been laid and is properly cured. As noted on the Concrete Network, nearly all types of sealants can be applied to concrete that is 28 days old. If you apply it sooner, only do so when concrete is able to manage the weight of the installer without potential risk of damage.

For those with asphalt driveways, we also offer Asphalt Crack Sealing services. Call us today for a quote.

Repairing Concrete Driveway Cracks in 3 Easy Steps

When it comes to the home, driveways are regularly used but often overlooked. Taking the time to maintain your concrete driveway, in Toronto particularly, where the weather is extreme, is easy and will save you money in the long run.

Cracks in a concrete driveway can really have a negative effect on your home’s curb  appeal, so follow these three simple steps to repair cracks before they develop into a larger problem that requires professional attention. If you’re not sure if you need a professional contractor or not, give us a call and check out our concrete driveway services to see why having our experts install your driveway will save you the trouble of worrying about cracks.

Step 1: Clean out all concrete cracks

The first step is to thoroughly clean out all of the concrete cracks you’re planning to fill. You can use the most effective tool in your garden shed to remove large debris pieces, and a brush to sweep out smaller plant chunks and rubble. For a deeper, more thorough cleaning, grab a hose to spray out the cracks, or a pressure washer if you have one at your disposal. Take care to do this first step well. How well you clean each crack will make the difference in how effectively the filler adheres to your driveway’s concrete.

Step 2: Choose the right filler

When it comes to choosing the right filler, there are a few important factors to consider. Weather conditions are one: a concrete driveway in a climate that is relatively warm
year-round versus a concrete driveway in a city that experiences extreme seasonal changes, are not made equal. If you live in a location that experiences winters with ice and snow, you will want to choose a sturdy filler like caulking or sealants because they are more durable in varying climates. How you choose your filler will also depend on the size of the cracks you are looking to fill. There are options that require little prep and no mixing, which makes them ideal for smaller cracks. If you’re looking at bigger cracks that need professional attention, consider concrete parging, which is an affordable alternative to costly concrete repair.

Step 3: Fill all cracks

If you are tackling small cracks with a pre-mixed bottle of sealant, your best tool is going to be a caulk gun. Simply inject the sealant into the cracks being sure to fill all crevices. If your concrete driveway is plagued with larger cracks and you have chosen to fill them with concrete or a concrete based mix, you will want to pour the concrete carefully into the cracks – again being sure to fill all corners of the fracture. Once the filling process is complete, be sure to scrape away all excess filler that may have oozed out of the cracks.
The most important part of the process is to let the fillers set. Since each filler is made differently, you will want to follow the instructions that come with the filler you purchase.
Applying a sealant once the repair process is complete is a great way to prevent future cracks, as it helps prevent damage caused by water, ice, snow and salt.

5 Benefits of a Concrete Paver Patio

Concrete Pavers are a great choice for elevating the aesthetic appeal of your property, and when it comes to designing a concrete paver patio there are more benefits than visual appeal alone. Here are 5 top benefits for choosing pavers for your next patio.

Design

With an extensive selection of options to choose from, pavers can be laid in patterns to compliment any home’s design. Concrete pavers come in a variety of colors, finishes, and shapes, so your patio can be transformed into anything that reflects your own personal style. See our project gallery for ideas on everything from simple to elaborate interlocking paver designs.

Sustainability

Turf is one of the least sustainable parts of landscaping and requires a significant amount of upkeep from regular watering to lawn mowing. Concrete pavers offer great design that is user-friendly and easy to incorporate into the natural elements of your garden’s design. Instead of filling open spaces with grass, pavers create intrigue and help you to partition off spaces that can be used for anything from an entertaining area to a cozy outdoor reading den. Best of all, pavers reduce your water usage and the need for regular upkeep. Just take a look at these inspiring 12 Ideas for Landscaping Without Grass from HGTV.

Easy Repair

If you find yourself with a stained or broken paver, the repair work is low maintenance. Because a patio designed out of pavers has multiple components, it makes replacing one relatively simple. Reparation is also made easy because it can be done without disrupting the overall appearance of your patio’s design, and can also be executed without the assistance of a professional depending on the intricacy of your patio design.

Simple Installation

Concrete paver patios are relatively straightforward to install depending on the complexity of the design. Pavers are designed to fit together on a bed of sand in a similar fashion to puzzle pieces: the more detailed the puzzle, the more work involved. So whether you are planning to set up your new patio yourself or with the help of a certified installer, once the pavers are in place they are ready to use. Find out more about what a professional installer offers here.

Good in Extreme Weather

Pavers are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and have more durability and strength than stamped concrete. If you are looking for a patio that is highly resistant to cracking, pavers are a great choice.  Another great feature that can be integrated into your patio design is a system designed to melt ice and snow. Not only does it help to reduce the longterm wear and tear of  snow, salt and ice, but it also means no need to shovel snow if you choose to use your patio year round. That said, pavers are unique to other forms of concrete in that they
are less likely to damage from the sudden changes in temperature that come with rapid ice and thaw cycles in winter. So even without a built-in snow melting system, your concrete paver patio will keep its appearance regardless of the seasonal changes.